Smartphone or computer cameras now measure pulse, respiration rate to aid future personalized tele-health appointments

Telehealth has become a critical way for doctors to still provide health care while minimizing in-person contact during COVID-19. But with phone or Zoom appointments, it’s harder for doctors to get important vital signs from a patient, such as their pulse or respiration rate, in real time.

A University of Washington-led team has developed a method that uses the camera on a person’s smartphone or computer to take their pulse and respiration signal from a real-time video of their face. The researchers presented this state-of-the-art system in December at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference.

Photo by Liza Summer on

Now the team is proposing a better system to measure these physiological signals. This system is less likely to be tripped up by different cameras, lighting conditions or facial features, such as skin color. The researchers did present these findings April eighth at the ACM Conference on Health, Interference, and Learning.


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5 responses to “Smartphone or computer cameras now measure pulse, respiration rate to aid future personalized tele-health appointments

  1. My mother in law would have her vitals checked regularly when she was in her nineties. When she had it checked in a doctor’s office her blood pressure would be consistently higher than when a public health nurse would check her in the comfort of her apartment.
    Getting health info in real time would be more accurate then in a clinic since there are many factors which affect one’s vitals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now we just need to keep Google and FB from taking our pulse and temperature while we are web surfing!
    It will be like having a lie detector hooked up to our computers.
    A few years ago I saw a guy on The Colbert Show who developed an app for the iPhone. It took your pule, BP and temperature. All handy info for a telehealth chat.


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